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Sunday, 18 January 2009

Edinburgh gangwar man had undergone emergency treatment for a gunshot wound to the head and was in a stable but serious condition in hospital.

Unnamed person was last night seriously ill in hospital after being shot in the head in Edinburgh.The 26-year-old was found unconscious yesterday morning on the south side of the city, close to an area used by one of two warring drugs gangs.
Police said the man had undergone emergency treatment for a gunshot wound to the head and was in a stable but serious condition in hospital.The man was discovered by a passer-by at 6am yesterday in Hazelwood Grove, which borders the Inch and Gilmerton areas.Around 70 police officers flooded the area and cordoned off the road for forensic examination, before questioning locals who had witnessed a car being driven at high speed through neighbouring roads.The area is home to a group of heroin and cocaine dealers who are understood to have been involved in a war with a rival gang from north Edinburgh.The two groups are believed to have been involved in at least five tit-for-tat shootings last year. In one incident, a man was hit in the head with four shotgun pellets. Some reports have suggested that the feud between the rival groups is personal, rather than about drugs.Chief Inspector Donnie Mackinnon, who is in charge of the south Edinburgh area, said: "This was an extremely serious incident and a full scale investigation is currently under way with significant resources being dedicated to it. We have near 70 officers in total working on the case, and many people have been called in who were not due to work today."He said the victim was believed to be from the local area and police had contacted his relatives, but he did not give the name of the man.Mackinnon appealed to anyone who was near Hazelwood Grove at 6am to contact the police, and also asked for people to come forward if they had seen "a vehicle being driven at speed or individuals acting in a suspicious manner" in streets nearby.However, he emphasised that the shooting appeared to be an isolated incident. Mackinnon said: "We would like to reassure local residents that incidents of this nature are very rare and there is no immediate danger. Serious crime in the city remains low and any risk to the general public is small."A woman, who lives yards from the road where the shooting took place, told Scotland on Sunday she was shocked by what had happened. She said: "I'm worried about going out now. We've heard nothing from the police. I'm thinking about moving house." Another neighbour, a single mother who did not want to be named, said: "I wouldn't be surprised if drugs were involved. There are drugs everywhere these days, but I've always thought of this as a safe area."One local man said drugs were a growing problem: "There are more junkies coming down here now, and there's a few houses that I know cause a bit of trouble. There are more youths moving here and there seems to be more drugs about."The incident took place close to the Marmion pub in Edinburgh's Gracemount district, where 32-year-old Alexander McKinnon was killed and James Hendry, 26, was seriously injured when a gunman walked into the bar and fired a shotgun at them in 2006. In 2007, three men, James Bain, 22, Richard Cosgrove, 21, and Bernard Young, 19, were jailed for a total of 61 years for the shooting.A police spokesman said that shootings remain extremely rare in Edinburgh and in Scotland as a whole.

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